Home > Articles > Hardware > Upgrading & Repairing

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Recovering from a Physical Failure

In the worst cases of physical failure, the actual drive innards may require removal to a new housing. If your drive is making strange noises, such as loud grinding or tapping, it's best to leave data recovery to a trained professional. But most physical failures don't require such extreme measures.

Whether a drive has failed physically or due to a software error, it's important to take cautionary measures prior to attempting recovery. Using data-recovery software to hit the physical disk to gather information about the disk contents increases the risk of further data loss. To prevent additional damage, an important first step is to create an image of the drive by using an imaging tool. If the damaged drive happens to be the drive containing the operating system, at all costs avoid booting the drive. A boot operation reads from the drive and writes to the drive, multiplying the risk of further damage.

Desktop PCs

For a desktop system, the best practice is to take the problem disk out of the equation. Disconnect the boot drive and replace it with a new drive, making sure that the new drive has enough capacity to store an operating system and the entire contents of your old drive. Install an operating system on the new drive. After completing the operating system install, reconnect the old drive as a slave unit or install it in an external case and connect the damaged drive via USB or FireWire.

By creating a new primary drive, you can run disk-imaging software on the new drive, preventing the need for writing additional data to the old drive.

CAUTION

In a Windows XP system, it's important to disconnect the current boot partition. Attempting to install the OS on the new drive results in temp files being written to the old drive, because Windows XP looks for any existing install and stores all the setup drivers on the current primary boot disk.

At this point in the process, you should install a disk-imaging application such as Norton Ghost or the disk-imaging tool bundled with the drive-recovery application GetDataBack (covered shortly). Create an image of the damaged drive on your new drive. The image will be used to recover the missing data from the damaged drive.

Laptop PCs

Recovering data from a laptop drive is more complicated than from a desktop system. Laptop hard drives are notoriously difficult to remove, and removal may even void the machine's warranty. Windows XP will install to an external hard drive, but you still risk further data corruption when temp files are written to the damaged drive during the installation process. In some cases, you can avoid further data damage by disabling the IDE controller for the damaged drive in the system BIOS. In my case, disabling the IDE controller at the BIOS level also made the CD drive nonfunctional, making it impossible to transfer files from the install CD in order to install Windows XP on the external drive.

Instead of trying to boot from a hard drive, booting from a CD with all the necessary operating system components is the safest bet. As part of my recovery process, I created a bootable CD with BartPE, which uses core Windows components and bundles data-recovery applications on the CD in one self-contained package. BartPE is a mini operating system with a graphical user interface, which requires files included on either a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 install CD. BartPE creates a mini OS, valid for 24 hours, to perform diagnostic recovery of lost files. The OS automatically reboots at the 24-hour mark, so this is by no means a permanent solution. In most cases, however, 24 hours is plenty of time to recover from virtually any drive failure. I wasted countless hours on several other recovery attempts before discovering BartPE. Had I not found this free tool, I probably would have failed in my data-recovery attempt.

After creating a BartPE bootable disk by following the instructions at the BartPE site, change the boot order of your laptop in the BIOS, so that the CD drive is the first option. Next, you need to connect an external drive to write the image file. BartPE will launch from the drive, giving you full access to the software apps built into the bootable CD, as well as providing read and write access to your damaged drive. A few key recovery tools offer versions designed specifically for use with BartPE, which simplifies the recovery process using the CD-based temporary OS. In the past five years, I've had several encounters with damaged drives. My favorite software tool is GetDataBack for NTFS (there's also at FAT version), because it always succeeds in recovering data where other attempts failed.

As I mentioned earlier, GetDataBack includes a drive-imaging tool, which makes a replica of the drive on a second hard drive. The recovery portion of the tool scans the image far more quickly than it could possibly work through damaged sectors on a drive, resulting in a solid solution for getting back all the missing data. In most cases, it will also recover deleted files. My previous experience with drive failures has always been on servers or desktop systems, where it was a simple matter to swap the drive and run recovery software. GetDataBack offers a standalone EXE and a plug-in version for BartPE.

After creating the image of the damaged drive, run the drive-recovery portion of GetDataBack against the image, which allows you to extract all the important data on your hard drive.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020